The Sunfoil Dolphins are abuzz with excitement as they look to get their 2015/16 domestic season underway at the City Oval in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday, 11 October when they take on the VKB Knights in their opening Momentum One Day Cup clash.
Head coach Lance Klusener has chosen a 13-man squad which offers a good blend of experience and youthful exuberance and, after a sound pre-season campaign, is looking forward to Sunday’s season opener as they look to enjoy a fruitful 2015/16 campaign across all formats.
“Ideally we’d like to win all competitions; that’s where we are as a squad and that’s the expectation from management. It’s a tough ask but I don’t think it’s an ask that we can’t achieve,” said Klusener.
“I think we’ve got an excellent mix; guys like Morné (van Wyk), Ryan McLaren, Robbie Frylinck – guys that have been around for a long time – and then also guys that have been in the system for five or six years now.
“We’re in a great position and now we’ve got to go do the work on the field!” he added.
While the likes of Craig Alexander, Cody Chetty, Keshav Maharaj and Cameron Delport will look to build on the experienced they’ve gained over the past few seasons, there is also room for Maritzburg hometown heroes Kyle Nipper, Tshepang Dithole and Mat Pillans in the squad as well.
“Kyle (Nipper) has put a couple of decent seasons together for Inland and so I think he’s ripe for the opportunity,” said Klusener.
“Tshepang had been with Gauteng U19 and then spent some time with (Mfuneko Ngam) with his academy at Fort Hare, he played a little bit for Border and now he’s now at KZN Inland.
“He really impressed us in our pre-season games, he had an excellent Academy Week as well and a good little cricketer that given the opportunity and exposure to franchise cricket can go a long way.”
Captain Morné van Wyk has enjoyed the pre-season build-up however the vastly experienced campaigner is now relishing the opportunity to return to the environment when the hard work really counts.
“I can’t remember being this excited for a season for a very long time; felt for a while now that I’m ready for the season just to start now!” said Van Wyk.
“I personally feel my game is in a really good place and now I just want to get out there; I love being in the middle, I’m feeling very comfortable and I’m keen to make contributions out there.
“A big part of what makes the journey special for me is also getting to mix with people and spending time with friends, team mates, the coaches and so the fact that we are such a great squad makes it even more exciting!”
The recently concluded inaugural edition of the Africa T20 Cup saw KZN Inland advance to the final while their KZN counterparts fell just short in their semi-final outing against tournament winners Northerns.
Emerging young talent Andile Phehlukwayo was a member of the KZN side and believes the tournament provided himself and other youngsters now in the Sunfoil Dolphins squad with a golden opportunity to hone their skills ahead of this weekend’s clash.
“I think the Africa T20 Cup helped a few of us a lot in preparing for the upcoming season,” said Phehlukwayo.
“I know for (Sibonelo) Makhanya, myself and a couple other guys who are bordering on franchise cricket it was good preparation and I learnt a lot from the likes of David (Miller).
“It was really exciting and I’m really keen for the season,” he added.
The Sunfoil Dolphins take on the VKB Knights in a Momentum One Day Cup clash at the City Oval, Pietermaritzburg on Sunday, 11 October. Play gets underway at 10h00 and tickets can be purchased at www.ticketpros.co.za
Meanwhile, KwaZulu-Natal take on KZN Inland in a CSA Provincial 3-Day match at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead from Thursday-Saturday, 8-10 October before the two sides clash in a T20 fixture on Sunday, 11 October at the same venue. More information can be found at www.dolphinscricket.co.za
Sunfoil Dolphins squad:
Morné van Wyk (captain), Craig Alexander, Cody Chetty, Cameron Delport, Tshepang Dithole, Robbie Frylinck, Ryan MacLaren, Keshav Maharaj, Sibonelo Makhanya, Kyle Nipper, Andile Phehlukwayo, Mat Pillans, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Lance Klusener (coach), Rivash Gobind (assistant coach)
Khalipha Cele, Daryn Dupavillon, Bruce Kerr, Craig Kirsten, Senuran Muthusamy, Ayavuya Myoli, Johnny Riekert, Calvin Savage, Daniel Sincuba, Daryn Smit, Prenelan Subrayen, Jonathan Vandiar, Roger Telemachus (coach)